British group Arora to spend €100m building 410-bedroom hotel at Dublin Airport

Project will employ 550 people between construction and running the hotel

An image of the proposed new hotel at Dublin Airport’s Terminal 2

An image of the proposed new hotel at Dublin Airport’s Terminal 2

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British group Arora plans to spend €100 million building a 410-bedroom hotel at Dublin Airport in a project employing up to 550 people between construction and running the business.

Following a public tender Arora has agreed a deal with DAA, the State company responsible for the airport, to design, build and finance a new hotel on a site just in front of the existing Terminal 2 carpark.

The British company this week sought permission from Fingal County Council to build the hotel, which will have 410 bedrooms over 11 storeys and cost an estimated €100 million to construct.

Around 300 workers will be needed to build the property, while the hotel will employ 250 people once it opens. Arora will run it under an as yet un-named global brand.

News of the plan comes after almost 14 months of lockdowns and strict travel curbs that cut Dublin Airport’s passenger numbers by 78 per cent last year to 7.4 million from almost 33 million in 2019.

Dalton Philips, DAA chief executive, called the proposal a “significant vote of confidence” in the long-term prospects for the airport and the Irish economy.

“This development will bring very significant benefits for our customers and to the wider economy, both locally and nationally. There is strong demand for terminal-linked hotels, and they are a feature of most large airports.”

12 hotels

Founded and run by its chief executive, billionaire Surinder Arora, the British group owns and runs 12 hotels with more than 5,000 rooms in the greater London area. Ten are at airports, including Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted.

This is its first project in the Republic. Mr Arora said the move was an exciting milestone for the group as “it will be our first venture outside the UK, and the first terminal-linked hotel at Dublin Airport”.

Brands under which Arora operates hotels include Crowne Plaza, Hilton, Holiday Express and Sofitel. “We look forward to replicating this success at Dublin Airport’s Terminal 2,” said the group’s chief executive.

Subject to planning, Arora hopes to begin building the hotel later this year and could open it in 2024.

The 11-storey property will have a total floor area of 30,566sq m. Features will include meeting rooms, leisure centre with a gym, penthouse bar, executive lounge, sauna and jacuzzi.

Under the deal with DAA, Arora will operate the property and own it for 100 years, at which point it will revert to the State company.

Air crews

Terminal-linked hotels are popular with passengers as they cut out the need for transport and save time. Air crews who require rest periods also favour them as they do not have to add transfer time to and from airports.

Consequently, terminal-linked hotels fill more of their rooms and can charge higher rates than others based in and around airports.

Mr Arora founded what became the Arora group of private companies in 1999 with a bed and breakfast for air crews.This led to partnerships with leading hotel brands.

He is a member of the New Enterprise Council, which advises the UK government on business policy, sits on the London Skills and Employment Board, and is deputy chairman of the exclusive Wentworth Golf Club. Estimates of his wealth run to more than £1.1 billion sterling.

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